Students at the confederation college who are still in their first year could be headed back to square one. This happens as they are set to resume school after a college faculty strike that lasted for five weeks. The college management has made a decision that the first year students program will be set in a way that it continued from where it stopped in September last year. The approximately 60 first-year students had already logged flight hours before the strike began. Transport Canada does not have any specific regulations that would force the logged flight hours by the students to be lost. However, the administration of the aviation school insisted that consistency was critical when it comes to flying.
Paul de Oude, the chairman of the aviation department, said that it was in the best interest of the students to have their training restarted to ensure that they can succeed in their learning. Oude noted that the college had reached that decision because the logged hours by the first year students before the strike were minimal. On Wednesday, the students were presented with several options. One of which was to continue with their course and secure a spot at the program next year after withdrawing for the year. Failure to that, the students would drop from the course and would be given a full refund of their fees. However, the students who dropped would not have the guarantee of re-admission if they applied for the program in the future. Initially, the students were informed that there would be a cab on the number of students who would remain in the program this year.
The President of the confederation college, Jim Madder, said that since the beginning of the year, two instructor positions have remained vacant. Vacancy in these positions presented a challenge for the school to give the students adequate flying time. Madder, however, said that the school administrators had ruled out limiting students to the program. The president of the college said that they had made arrangements with the private aviation sector to give their student the chance to log the required hours for the program. Madder admitted that at the moment, the college did not have the necessary skilled personnel or enough time to give the students the flight time required. Most of the students had indicated that they were willing to continue with the program with the conditions set out by the college.